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Ahh, the temptations of Science - for the mouth (chocolate) and the brain (fascinating authors)

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Sent on: Monday, September 19, 2011 11:50 PM
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ISC Masthead Sept., 2011



Dear Science Field Trips Meetup Member,  


"Chemistry for Adults" is not your typical science talk.  It definitely isn't your high school teacher criticizing a lousy lab report!  These programs include explanations, demonstrations and hands-on, do-it-yourself, see-what-happens-for-the-fun-of-it experiments.  (And tastings when appropriate.)    


Oh, there are trivia quizzes and prizes too!  You can even cheat off your neighbor, likely another cool, science-curious person like you.  Watch out these fun YouTube video shorts of past programs:

Chemistry of Beer

Chemistry of Cosmetics 


Chocolate is tomorrow; Honey is next month.  Bring a date.  Tell your friends.  You'll be glad!

Chemistry of Chocolate with Blommer Chocolate Company  



Back by popular demand! ISC brings you a another edition of this terrific workshop led by Dr. Shelby Hatch, chemistry faculty at Northwestern University, with the Melissa Tisoncik, R&D Specialist at Blommer Chocolate Company.  Whether your daily necessity, an indulgence, or your drug of choice, chocolate is a marvel.  You love it.  But to fully appreciate it you should understand its amazing chemical properties.  Here is your chance to learn more about your beloved sweet treat.

      • How is chocolate actually made?
      • What's the real distinction between dark and milk chocolate?
      • What's up with white chocolate?
      • Why does it sometimes turn a grayish color?
      • What's the role of emulsifiers and incompatible fats?
      • What are the findings of all those health studies done on chocolate? 

Register now -- No science prerequisites necessary but you must be 21 or older.  For only $15 you will develop a blissfully heightened appreciation for chocolate, the nectar of the gods.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

6:30 - 8:30pm  

O'Callaghan's Pub, 3rd floor 

29 W. Hubbard St., Chicago  

$15 Register here  


Spectacular science authors coming to town

Illinois Science Council is co-sponsoring a slew of great author talks this fall on fascinating topics.  Mark your calendars so you can be sure to attend.  


Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn

by Cathy Davidson


Cathy Davidson, nationally recognized scholar and researcher, discusses and signs her latest book, Now You See It: How the Brain SciCathy Davidsonence of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn.  Using cutting-edge research on the brain, Davidson shows how "attention blindness" has produced one of our society's greatest challenges; despite the great changes of the digital age, most of us still toil in schools and workplaces designed for the last century.  Now You See It is a refreshingly optimistic argument for a bold embrace of our connected, collaborative future.  


Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Public Library

400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL  

FREE and open to the public.  

This talk is in collaboration with the Chicago Public Library.


Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading authorities on language and the mind and author of the extraordinarily popular books, The Stuff of Thought, The Blank Slate, and How the Mind Works discusses and sign his latest book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Pinker's explores of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives - the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away.   

Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm  

Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Public Library 

400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL  

This talk is in collaboration with the Chicago Public Library.

FREE but reservations are required.  Seats can be reserved here



A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos by Dava Sobel 


It was an outrage! Copernicus claimed the sun -- not the earth -- was at the center of the universe.  Best-selling author and former New York Times reporter Dava Sobel, who has written previouslyDava Sobel

about scientific discoveries that have revolutionized society's worldview, delves into the 16th century tensions between science and faith.  Book signing to follow.  Presented with the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation.   


Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 7:30pm

Wright Unity Temple, 875 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 

$15 non-members; $12 UTRF members, students and seniors.   

For tickets click here.   

Proceeds benefit the restoration of Unity Temple, Frank Lloyd Wright's modern masterpiece.      


Lisa Randall


Lisa Randall, renowned Professor of Physics at Harvard University and one of today's most extraordinary, influential and highly cited theoretical physicists, discusses and signs her new book, Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World.  Randall examines how the latest developments in physics have the potential to radically revise our understanding of the world. Knocking on Heaven's Door is an exhilarating and accessible overview of these developments and an impassioned argument for the significance of science.


Tuesday, November[masked]  at 6:00 pm  

Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Public Library 

400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL  

This talk is in collaboration with the Chicago Public Library.

FREE but reservations are required.  Seats can be reserved here.



Chemistry of Honey


In keeping with our "Chemistry for Adults" series celebrating the International Year of Chemistry, ISC offers yet another tasty program -- Chemistry of Honey (aren't you glad I didn't say "in bee-keeping with.."?).


This sweet program will delight and enlighten you with how bees actually make honey, how it's harvested and other fun facts.  We've got an entomologist (that's a bee expert) Dr. May Berenbaum of University of Illinois-Champaign, together with a chemist (that's a chemistry expert) Dr. Shelby Hatch of Northwestern University to explore the extraordinary chemical properties of honey and its many varieties.


You'll conduct experiments yourselves to explore the wonders of this golden goodness.  There may be balloons and beakers and ph involved, and perhaps refractometers, but there will be definitely be tastes to tantalize your tongue.


This program is in collaboration with the Notebaert Nature Museum and Slow Food Chicago as part of their series on bees and beekeeping.


Saturday, October 29, 2011 from 10:30am -12:30pm
Notebaert Nature Museum

2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL

Tickets are $15 (includes museum admission) and available only online here.     

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Select Science Sayings


Chemistry ought to be not for chemists alone.

 - Miguel de Unamuno



It's not vanity to feel you have a right to be beautiful. Women are taught to feel we're not good enough, that we must live up to someone else's standards. But my aim is to cherish myself as I am.

- Elle Macpherson



Science is everywhere, even when you're not looking.

- Lurleen the Elder



Love is a matter of chemistry, but sex is a matter of physics.



Chemistry can be a good and bad thing. Chemistry is good when you make love with it. Chemistry is bad when you make crack with it.

- Adam Sandler



Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.

- Dave Barry



Better living through chemistry.
- Friedrich Nietzsche  



To think is to practice brain chemistry.

- Deepak Chopra



"Why do chemists use nitrates?"  

Because they are cheaper than day rates.

New Scientist 12/1992



Carob is a brown powder made from the pulverized fruit of a Mediterranean evergreen. Some consider carob an adequate substitute for chocolate because it has some similar nutrients (calcium, phosphorus), and because it can, when combined with vegetable fat and sugar, be made to approximate the color and consistency of chocolate. Of course, the same arguments can as persuasively be made in favor of dirt.

- Sandra Boynton, author  Chocolate: the Consuming Passion



The best substitute for brains is silence.



Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.   

- Bertrand Russell  



In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.   

- Douglas Adams



The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.   

- Carl Sagan    



The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

- Albert Einstein



Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun.  

- Bumper sticker










Be sure to connect with ISC on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (whatever your preferred method) so you'll get advance notice when registration opens for future programs.



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